SINGAPORE: Prices of resale flats for the first quarter of 2018 declined by 0.8 per cent, according to flash estimates released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Monday (Apr 2).
The resale price index - which provides information on the general price movements in the resale public housing market - is estimated to have slid to 131.6 from 132.6 in the previous quarter, HDB said.
The resale price index for the full quarter will be released on Apr 27.
HDB also announced that it will launch about 3,900 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats for sale in Sengkang, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun in the May 2018 BTO exercise. There will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.
One reason why HDB resale prices have dipped could be that the Government is offering more BTO flats that are completed more quickly, said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group.
"One of the greatest attractions of buying an HDB resale flat is that the buyer can take possession of the flat faster than if they buy directly from the Government as they might have to wait four to five years. Now the Government is offering a shorter waiting period for new flats, it may have attracted some buyers to switch from buying resale flats to buying new HDB flats," he said.
Another property observer, Propnex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor, said he expects demand for HDB resale flats to go up.
"With positive sentiment in the residential market as well as the huge number of en bloc sales in 2017 and 2018, we predict a greater demand for HDB resale properties with some en bloc owners considering resale flats in the second half of the year," he said.
"There is a likelihood that HDB prices may well experience a muted growth of up to 1 per cent in 2018."
He added: "The group of ex en bloc owners who will choose public housing will prefer flats within two kilometres of their existing development and will also likely opt for bigger HDB flats like Executive Maisonette or Executive Apartments as cash is not a constraint for them."